Anthony Joshua’s Former Trainer Details Former 2X Champion’s Only Condition Due to Which He Had to Part Ways With Him: “They Wanted Me To…”

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When faced with a decision of bagging a huge amount by training a big name or supporting the up-and-coming boxers, most would prefer the former option. However, not Ronnie Shields. Anthony Joshua is slated to face Otto Wallin, while Deontay Wilder is set to take on Joseph Parker. Both bouts occur on the same bill in Riyadh. Joshua and Wilder could potentially arrange a bout against each other in 2024. That is if they emerge victorious in their individual matches on December 23 in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua’s former trainer, Shields, however, could not help the pugilist with his upcoming match. In a recent interview with Boxing News, Shields revealed why Joshua’s plans of training under him fell apart.
According to Shields, when Joshua initially approached him, AJ sought someone who would push his boundaries. He wanted to actualize the untapped potential he had. After two productive days in Shields’ gym in Stafford, Texas, the heavyweight boxer flew him all the way to London for further sessions during Halloween. “I had a great time there, working with him there,” said Shields. While everything went well, the snag arose when Joshua insisted on Shields training him exclusively in London.
Given his commitment to other fighters with impending matches, he couldn’t neglect their training. “But the only problem was they wanted me to train him in London. And at that time, I just had too many fights coming up. I couldn’t do it. I don’t neglect my fighters, even though Joshua is a big name, I couldn’t neglect the guys that I already have,” revealed Ronnie Shields. Joshua might be an enormous name in the industry, but Shields’ loyalty to his existing fighters remained paramount for him to abandon them.
Shields even proposed Joshua to join him in his U.S. gym, offering flexibility while collaborating between his fights. Unfortunately, an agreement couldn’t be reached. The desire for exclusive London training created a hurdle, resulting in the inability to finalize a middle ground.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has some interesting plans in mind. He envisions Joshua revisiting the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ as part of an iconic bout marking the 50th anniversary of the legendary fight. Talks have progressed regarding the heavyweight contender potentially fighting in Africa. According to Hearn, the government is even willing to finance the bout. While Joshua, with Nigerian roots, has never fought on the continent, Hearn sees this as a momentous opportunity for the sport.
Earlier discussions hinted at a possible clash between Joshua and former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in the next “six to 12 months.” Ngannou, a prominent figure in Africa, shares a compelling connection with the continent, mirroring Joshua’s cultural ties.

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